A Response to Kumar David’s article titled “Facilitating Rajapaksa’s Departure” appearing on page ten in the Colombo Telegraph; November 30, 2014.
Kumar David is a perceptive analytical thinker. He has a wide store of information, a panoramic conceptual landscape and a powerful vocabulary. These attributes are combined with an ability to cut to the bone. In this piece, Kumar David has performed exceptionally as a political surgeon. For all its surgical skills, however, I thought that this piece requires comment for its blunted vision and political gimmickry, if not for the prophetic self-adulation of the author. “Still I am delighted since it is rarely that a prophet enjoys such fulsome validation….And why can’t a prophet be right twice”.
What Kumar David is arguing for is the precise intensity of lazer-targeted radiation, just the measured, graduated amount of radiation to be delivered at the right time, so the patient won’t overdose, collapse and die. He has prescribed what is most desperately required to keep a tottering Capitalist State and a cancerous feudal-colonial social system and political order alive- and kicking. It is a project to regenerate a Comprador Capitalist State and ruling class that survives and thrives on imperialist profit and plunder. He wishes to see a unified country under a unitary State ruled by a new ruling class coalition that would better facilitate imperialist, neo-liberal penetration and plunder. The oppressed Tamil nation and the Moslem and Hill Country nationalities will just have to stand in line and wait until their problems and issues could be addressed in due time. The toiling suffering masses being thrown into abject poverty, indebtedness, degradation and misery will also have to take their turns, Just place your faith in Maithripala Sirisena until he becomes the next person to rule the Capitalist Dictatorship and get his act together. Just wait until he abolishes the Executive Presidency and restores democracy and good governance. All will be hunky-dory in Paradise Isle. That is the “bright light at the end of the tunnel” that Kumar David envisions through his heartfelt endorsement of Maithripala Sirisena as the next Executive President.
Now, it may be that at present and in the immediate future, Maithripala Sirisena represents the only bourgeois alternative to the Rajapaksa Dictatorship. He has captured the need of the suffering masses and of good honest people who overwhelmingly desire to see an end to the Rajapaksa dictatorship. If, and to the extent that he honors his pledge to the people to dismantle the chauvinist-militarist-fascist state apparatus and establish a pluralist, secular democratic State he should be supported. To the extent he capitulates to the chauvinist-supremacist-hegemonic agenda within and outside his coalition, he should be exposed and opposed. This is in opposition to placing blind faith in an idealized, mystified, personified image of Maithripala Sirisena as the savior of democracy and freedom that Kumar David decrees in all his prophetic wisdom. Maithripala’s own record will speak for itself. He celebrated the war that resulted in the political subjugation, territorial hijacking and military occupation of the Tamil nation and participated at the victory parades with great dignity and pride. He defended his dictator with utmost loyalty and passion when he voted in favor of the 18th Amendment and when the former Chief Justice was hacked to pieces by a kangaroo court in parliament. It was under his watch as Minister of Health that it was hijacked by a parasitic crony mafia clan who made astronomical wealth through bribery and corruption and caused public health services to ruin and rot.
Kumar David’s prescriptions are clear. He prescribes that the surgical operation is centered, and limited, to the superstructure. Basically, the prescription contains constitutional and institutional bourgeois democratic reforms to ensure good governance- in the style of the “19th Amendment to the Constitution” proposed by the JHU and adopted by Ranil Wickremesinghe. The fact of the matter is that the JHU (and the JVP) will agree on such a clean-up act to wipe off the blood from the Capitalist State. But they shall surely draw the firing line on the question of defending the supremacist-hegemonic Sinhala-Buddhist unitary State. The prevailing unitary State is viewed as the supreme prize of the military victory, the prize for which the Rana Viruwo had fought and sacrificed. Any dilution of Sinhala-Buddhist supremacy and centralized hegemony will be declared to be an act of treason. The JHU has joined the Maithripala Sirisena bandwagon only to advance its mission and agenda, being that Mahinda Rajapaksa had proved to be a corrupt, murdering intolerable mafia despot who has endangered the sacred mission and betrayed its cause.
That Mahinda Rajapaksa has proved to be a corrupt, murdering intolerable, nepotistic-dynastic mafia despot is certainly true. It is also true that he has fatally endangered national sovereignty and independence by playing into the game of inter-imperialist geo-politics. He has rained fear and terror on the people upon the ashes and ruins of freedom, democracy and decency as no other. He must be thrown out of power and be prevented from extending his tenure for the third time- at whatever cost. The Maithripala Sirisena candidacy and its coalition of forces is the only viable force in town to throw him out through an electoral victory. The chances of that possibility are multiplying. This in turn provokes the Rajapaksa Regime to close ranks and fight to win the election by hook and by crook, if not by the ballot, then by the bullet. If it loses, it must be prepared with the options and scenarios of holding on to State power through whatever means, as corrupt, tin-pot despots do. This could be by spreading a reign of white terror and unleashing the dark forces of communal carnage, declaring a martial law regime and bringing the whole State and System under its military command. This would be legitimized on the basis of an alleged and manufactured ‘crisis of national security, backed by imperialist powers”. Patriotism may be energized to a new pitch of neo-fascist frenzy. A state of civil war between imperialist proxies may be on the cards.
One way out of this scenario would be to strike a deal with Mahinda Rapaksa that in the event he loses, he and his dynasty would not be harmed or punished, but be well looked after. What a game of crooked poker! Are the people to be deceived, manipulated and sacrificed at the catacombs of intra ruling class machinations and battles for power? Are they to be divided against and slaughter each other for the sake of preserving the State and System that oppresses and imprisons them? Should we not alert the people as to the real threats, the real game and the real class enemies at play, and on this basis empower them to make their conscious choice, while advancing their own independent class interests? Even if that would mean to vote Maitripala to power as the immediate tactical means of getting some fleeting democratic space and opportunity to prepare themselves to wage their own revolutionary class struggle on their own independent terms?
Kumar David calls himself a Marxist. What kind of Marxist he is can be seen when he adulates the JVP as “his favorite among Lanka’s mass parties that won’t soil itself in capitalist business”. Kumar David, like his counterpart JVP is infected with Trotskyite delirium and dementia. The JVP has indeed soiled themselves in the sewer of capitalist business. They brought Mahinda Rapaksa and the Regime to power. They formed the ideological vanguard in the patriotic war to defend the ‘motherland’. They have constructed, defended and advanced the unitary Comprador Capitalist State with exemplary loyalty and commitment. All this under the banner of Socialism! The Frontline Socialist Party is to be respected for having split its ways with the JVP, even though they have to dig deeper to fully eradicate some of its ideological baggage. Kumar David is one rank revisionist who shines the halo of Marxism on the most vile and treacherous revisionist parties that has sold out the revolution to become the trusted guardians of imperialism and the Neo-Colonial Comprador Capitalist State.
A revolutionary Marxist would stand with the oppressed in the class struggle against the system of oppression and its enforcers. Through whatever twists and turns he would be on the side of the revolutionary class struggle of the proletariat and oppressed masses. He would not manipulate the masses into supporting this or that fraction of the comprador ruling class or contending imperialist power. Even when it becomes tactically correct to isolate a fascist threat to freedom and democracy by aligning with progressive, liberal-bourgeois democratic forces, A Marxist would take all efforts to unite, organize and mobilize the masses and build their independent creative initiative and fighting capacity for advancing the revolutionary class struggle towards the mass seizure of State power. The diagnosis, the surgical procedures and the prescriptions offered by Dr. Kumar David serve to disarm, disorient, blunt and derail the revolutionary class struggle of the masses and to tie them to the wheels of imperialist machination and neo-colonial domination. “Thank god, I am not a Marxist. I have sown dragon’s teeth and harvested fleas”, Marx had proclaimed with utter repugnance.